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Mon, 19th Sep 2016 (Source:The New Indian Express)
The State Government has initiated steps to restructure Odisha Co-operative Coir Corporation Limited (OCCCL) to Odisha Coir Development Corporation Limited (OCDCL) and focus on the development of coir sector.
Since Odisha is the fifth largest coconut producing State in the country and the coir sector has potential for generating employment, the Government wants to make it a priority area of the MSME Department.
Secretary of MSME Department LN Gupta has directed officials to prepare the plan for restructuring OCCCL and revival of sick coir plant at Chandaka Industrial Estate besides the processing plant at Paradip at the earliest.
Sources said coconut cultivation covers around 51,000 hectare (ha) in the State. While coconut production was about 325 million nuts in 2014-15, industrial utilisation of husk was only 17 per cent of the total coconut production.
Though a variety of coir products is produced in the State, the scale of production and their marketing has been an issue since long. As many as 890 MSME coir units and 70 coir clusters are functional in the State besides 13 cooperative societies and 288 SHGs.
While 11,525 persons have been employed in the sector, the State is earning `103 crore per annum from the value added products.
Gupta has asked the Managing Director of OCCCL to strengthen the State Coir Training and Designing Centre at Teisipur in Puri which is functioning under the Director of Industries.
Training-cum-demonstration service sub-centres at Bhogarai in Balasore, Balikuda in Jagatsinghpur and Gopalbandha in Ganjam will also be encouraged for skilling and re-skilling of coir artisans and entrepreneurs. These centres are providing on-the-spot training to coir artisans on demand.
Though there are various schemes like rehabilitation of coir artisans, infrastructural assistance, coir cluster development programme, market development assistance and Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI), the quantum of assistance utilised in the State has remained limited.
The MD of OCCCL and DI of industries have been asked to make efforts to tap funds for development of coir artisans and the industry. It has also been decided to organise a workshop for development of the coir sector to be held in collaboration with the coir board by associating all stakeholders.